We discovered ourselves on the shores of Diora-Zinungan in Cagayan Valley on the break of daybreak. Boats had been already lined-up on the seaside awaiting to take us to sea. The coastal city had been practising beltfishing for greater than 20 years and it has turn out to be one in every of their important supply of livelihood. Division of Tourism Area 2 just lately spearheaded a program the place vacationer can expertise their distinctive means of fishing. And we’re right here to attempt our hand on their means of fishing.
The Kariti Evolution
Kuya Wilfredo, the lead for his or her fisherman’s group in Diora-Zinungan began the briefing about our exercise. He confirmed a set of contraptions they used for fishing. The primary one was the kariti, a manually-powered wheel pulley impressed by the hydraulic pulleys utilized by the Taiwanese fishermen. It truly appears like a bicycle crank which Wilfredo admitted had been first utilized in its earlier designs again in 2000. Initially utilizing wooden however after just a few trial and errors and various redesign, they now use these metal wheels over the past decade.
A a bow-shaped like bait with three hooks are connected to the nylon chords. These baits are particularly designed for beltfishes. The kariti are connected to both the bow or stern. I have to admit that it appears a bit crude however however, efficient. Beltfishing with this kariti is sort of a resourceful means of fishing with restricted cash or assets accessible.
Out to Sea
Over 20 years of venturing the waters from 2 to twenty nautical miles or past from the mainland of Santa Ana, Cagayan, the fishermen of Diora-Zinungan discovered from expertise the intricacies of beltfishing. No fish finder units used right here. As an alternative, they studied the character and behavior of beltfishes through the years. They discovered that beltfishes often feed from early morning and sparingly the remainder of the day. They yield extra catch early morning. Additionally they observed they often linger on the common depth of 80 fathoms (140 meters).
The Fickle Fish
Even with this widespread information of the beltfish habits and attainable feeding places available, they have to admit that the beltfish may be elusive at occasions. Beltfish are elongated fish generally referred to as the Largehead Hairtails widespread in tropical waters. Domestically, they’re referred to as as “bulung-unas” or ribbonfish within the Cagayan area.
Not like different fishes, once they feed on baits (often strips of galungong or beltfish), they pull it downward and never facet to facet. Therefore the 3-hook bow-like bait design works as they will catch three fishes concurrently with out getting entangled. Nonetheless, additionally they observed their distinctive behaviour of simply taking small bites on the bait. And once they really feel prefer it, they don’t chew in any respect, even for the entire day. This we had skilled first hand.
Whereas our different companions had resounding cheers at their boats with their catches, our boat nonetheless yielded none. It didn’t assist that we got here in late on the feeding grounds since we needed to help one other boat which had a failed engine. By the point we arrived on the, the faculties of fish could have feasted on the opposite boats. To not point out, the ocean situations like currents and climate can have an effect on fishing.
After greater than two hours at sea, our boat didn’t catch any. However we’re completely satisfied quite a bit from our group had been in a position to take house some catch. The beltfishing expertise doesn’t finish there nonetheless. Whereas the boys (and the vacationer) go fishing, the ladies of the group are answerable for cooking a portion of the catch. Guests availing of the beltfishing expertise additionally get to style their catch. Two thirds of their catch can be cooked and served for a meal whereas the remaining may be purchased from the fishermen to be distributed to the group.
The Beltfishing Expertise is designed to be a sustainable program that will profit each the vacationer and the group. Admittedly, in response to Kuya Wilfredo, the beltfish inhabitants is dwindling. Earlier than, they will simply catch 60-80 kilos a day, nowadays 30 kilos can be a blessing already.
Being a part of the guiding expertise would give them extra revenue and likewise assist re-populate the beltfish inhabitants by fishing much less.
In fact this system continues to be younger and there are nonetheless room for enhancements. As with all experiential excursions like this, guides play a pivotal position. I’m unsure if each boatmen had been as conversant as our information, Kuya Wilfredo, who’s used to talking. I heard some boatmen had been quiet. So coaching fishermen to information needs to be a vital a part of this system.
And likewise with excursions coping with nature like recognizing whale sharks or birds within the wild, there are possibilities there gained’t be any sightings so expectations needs to be tempered down.
Nonetheless for any vacationer wishing to expertise one thing native and distinctive, this beltfishing expertise is worth it.
To guide for a Beltfishing Expertise in Santa Ana, Cagayan, contact https://www.fb.com/cagayanturismo
Ferdz Decena is an award-winning journey photographer, author and blogger. His works has discovered print in publications resembling Singapore Airways’s Silver Kris, Philippine Airways’ Mabuhay, Cebu Pacific’s Smile and Seair InFlight. He has additionally lent his experience to numerous organizations just like the Oceana Philippines, Lopez Group Basis, Save the Kids and World Imaginative and prescient, contributing high quality photos for his or her advertising supplies.